The radish sprouts, shown here in the green and purple variety, bring youthful vitality and crunch to the sprout salad. I have yet to find out what’d be considered excessive for the amount of sprouts this salad can include. Well, why not up the ante on sprouts to impart the earthy liveliness – by the box load, to take it to the edge. I want more of these tiny sprouts in my salad!
Other supporting players in the salad are: the common radish, carrots, baby plum tomatoes and baby spinach. Furthermore, this won’t be an Ottolenghi salad, which this one is, without piles of parsley and cilantro. With all the delicate and tender texture, I doubt the sprout salad would ever get old.
The dressing is equally as light. A simple oil and vinegar dressing with a touch of crushed garlic does the trick to brighten the baby vegetables. This is a raw salad with no cooking involved. Wait, there was the toasting of the cumin in the recipe. I almost forgot about that, since I skipped it and went straight to the ground cumin which I had on hand. The only trouble with making the sprout salad, now thinking about it, is sourcing the sprouts.
I’ve sprouted buckwheat, ancient grains, quinoa as part of my regular bread-making activity. Any grain with the endosperm and germ intact will sprout. It takes a few days. Therefore, it seems to be a natural extension for me to let the sprouts grow a while longer and turn into vegetables, suitable for the sprout salad. By growing the homemade sprouts, sourcing would be a non-issue.
In view of the fact that this is my initial foray in making a sprout salad, I took the shortcut. I bought a few cartons of these cute radish sprouts that you see here.
One easy alternative to the suggested mung bean, chickpea or aduki bean sprouts, is to use soy bean sprouts. They are available in most Asian markets. Bean sprouts might not be as tender, but they are clear and serviceable choices.
Saving the best for last. The sprout salad is incredibly healthy and virtuous. There is nothing in this salad that you won’t want to eat, for health and for general well being.
I’m bring this salad to the IHCC potluck gathering this week.
Sprout SaladPrint Recipe
- 1½ tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 lb/ 450g mixed sprouts (mung beans, chickpeas, aduki beans, lentils, etc)
- 1 daikon (about 2 cups/ 250g), peeled and thinly sliced, or radishes or kohlrabi
- 2 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2/3 cup/ 20g parsley leaves, roughly chopped
- 2/3 cup/ 10g coriander leaves, roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 tbsp sunflower oil
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 2 tbsp white-wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp cider vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups/ 300g baby plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthways
- scant 3 cups/ 80g baby spinach leaves
- Black pepper
In a small frying pan, toast the cumin on high heat for a minute or two, shaking the pan to move the seeds around as you do so, until they give off their aroma and begin to pop. Transfer to a mortar, and crush with a pestle until powdery.
Put the sprouts, radishes and carrot in a large bowl. Add the herbs, garlic, oils, vinegars, cumin, salt and some black pepper. Stir, taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Add the tomatoes and spinach, toss gently and serve.
Adapted from Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi